Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our One and Only Potentate

                Potentate; what does it mean for us to have Jesus as Potentate? As I was reading and studying this morning, I came across this word and it jumped off the page at me. As I looked up the word I was reminded of some conversations I have had with some sisters in the Lord and some of the discussions that we have had in regards to the Church today. The word Potentate means one who possesses great power. One definition I read stated that Jesus was the only One who possessed power. The Bible tells us that after He defeated death and sin, He sat down on the right hand of God. (Hebrews 1:3)  We know that the right hand of God refers to His power, so therefore, at His right hand means that Jesus alone possesses all power. But what does that have to do with what my sisters in the Lord and I have recently discussed?

                I believe that today in our churches we have lost sight of what it means for our Lord and Savior to be Potentate. Because we live in the land of the free, and have never really known what it was like to be ruled over by a government, or a Monarchy, we take for granted what it means to have a heavenly King. This unfortunately, I believe, has spilled over into the churches today, and less and less I see Jesus as King over the lives of those who claim His name.  Do we truly understand what it means to have Jesus as our King? Do we truly know what it means to have Jesus as our Potentate? I am afraid that we do not. More and more I see those who call themselves Christians looking more and more like the world and less and less like Christ. This, my brothers and sisters, ought not to be so.
                “I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until the Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:13-16
                Just because we go to church on Sunday does not mean that we are going to heaven. We are deceiving ourselves if we believe this. We have lost sight of what it means to have Jesus as our Only Potentate. Do we not see the words in Paul’s writings to Timothy, “without spot, blameless”? I see Christians coming to church on Sunday, worshiping the Lord, tithing, raising their hands in Amen’s and Hallelujah’s, but in the next breath they are cursing at their children, gossiping about their co-workers, taking the Lord’s name in vain and leaving Jesus in the pew. These things ought not to be so, my family, they ought not to be so.
                We have men and women in leadership positions within the church that are going out on Friday and Saturday night to bars, partaking in the world’s revelry, then coming to church on Sunday and leading the family of God in worship. Is this right? Is this acceptable to God? Is it okay to go to the reunion tour of the Eagles, be a part of the world’s lust, drinking, drug abuse and sinfulness and then go to church on Sunday like nothing ever happened? Where do we draw the line, Church?
                If Jesus is our Potentate, if He is truly our King then we must allow Him to be King over every aspect of our lives. If we say that He is our Lord then we must make Him Lord over all of us, not just the “us” that shows up to fill the pew on Sunday. Paul stated that we are to keep this commandment without spot, blameless, how many of us can actually say that we strive to be spotless and blameless every day? Or do we just think that applies to Sunday church services? I am not saying that we are going to be without sin, but are we to willingly partake in sin, and the sin of others? We are deceiving ourselves if we think that it is okay to partake in the sins of the world, as long as we come to church on time.
                I am passionate about this subject because I see more and more men and women fooling themselves into thinking that if they go to church on Sunday they will go to heaven. I am sorry to be the one to burst your bubble, but church doesn’t save you. Only a surrendered life to Jesus Christ saves you. If you want to go party it up on Friday, join the world’s fun on Saturday then go- but don’t come to church on Sunday acting like you’re a solid Christian who loves the Lord. God commands us to come out from the world and be separate. (2 Corinthians 6:17)  We are to look like Jesus not the world.
                I have had people tell me that they love the Lord, they seek Him, they read His word, they follow His teaching, and that they are involved in serving their church. But within the next breath they are cursing, taking the Lord’s name in vain, and telling me about this concert they went to that had drinking, lustful women and men, and sin all around them. Maybe this is just my conviction, but I think more and more true, sincere Christians are beginning to see the hypocrisy of the Church. And as a result, many are leaving the church because of it. They see their worship leader on a Friday night singing unholy songs to the world, then see them leading worship on Sunday. How is this okay, I ask? How is this okay?
                If Jesus is to be your Potentate- then He must have complete and total control of every aspect of your life. This includes who you are friends with, what we talk about, what we take part in and how we go about living this Christian life. Jesus wants complete and total power, because, whether you like to hear this or not- He already has this power. Peter tells us that He has “gone into heaven and is that the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.” (1 Peter 3:22) If even the angels, authorities and powers that be are subject to Jesus, how much more should we be subject to Him?
    If Jesus is truly your King, if He is truly your Lord, if He is truly your Potentate- then perhaps we should begin showing it. Perhaps we, as Christians should fall down on our knees and pray for forgiveness. Asking the Lord to forgive us for taking His sacrifice, His grace, and His mercy for granted. For every time we join with the world, we have separated from Him. I am harsh in my words, I know. But let us not be deceived anymore. Church does not save you; only Jesus, our True, our Only, Potentate is the One who saves. Amen?

                Father, I pray that we would wake up and see that every time we join with the world we are separating from You. You have called us to be separate; You have called us to be uniquely Yours. Father, I pray that we would come out from among the world and that we would allow You, our True Potentate to possess all of our beings that we might become the image of You to the lost and broken world that surrounds us. In Your most precious and holy name I pray. Amen and Amen.